It’s important to choose the right freight forwarding company when you’re shipping abroad. Whether you’re a business or an individual, it can make or break how smoothly your shipment goes. Ensure your items are in safe hands by asking your freight forwarder the following 10 questions.
1) Do You Handle the Items I Need to Ship?
It’s important that your freight forwarder has plenty of experience in shipping your type of cargo, whether that’s vehicles or furniture. Check that your freight forwarder is capable of handling your items and ask what options are available.
2) What Services Do You Provide?
There are different types of shipping methods available, and you’ll need to decide which one suits your items. Roll-on roll-off (ro-ro) is suitable for certain vehicles, while full or partial containers are ideal for most other items. Ask how your cargo can be shipped to check there’s a solution for you.
Also check whether the freight forwarder offers additional services like onward shipping, storage, and collection. This can make the process simpler, eliminating the need for assistance from another company.
Find out how long the company has been running and how experienced they are with shipping your required items.
Experience is one of the most important factors when it comes to shipping items. Your freight forwarder will be responsible for transporting your cargo safely from the port to the destination, so you need a company you can trust.
4) How Widespread is Your Shipping Network?
An established international network means your items will be shipped as smoothly as possible. Ask the freight forwarder about their contacts in the countries you’re shipping to and from to ensure an efficient shipping process.
5) How Long Will the Process Take?
You’ll need to know when you can expect your cargo to arrive at the destination. This all depends on the origin port and the destination country, as well as how often shipments are made there. Find out when the process will begin, including when your items will need to be ready for shipping. Also, ask for an estimated arrival date to ensure the cargo will be there when you need it.
6) What’s Included in the Cost?
Of course, your most important question will be about the quote. Ask what’s included, as the quote could exclude services that you may require, such as collection. Also find out what payment methods are accepted, what currencies can be used, and if any additional charges are applicable.
If the freight forwarder is located in another area of the country to you, you may need to arrange collection of your items. Find out where the company is based and whether they offer a collection service to simplify the process.
8) Are Any Insurance Options Available?
Shipments travel miles across the world, which means that sometimes, things may not go to plan. The right insurance cover is vital to ensure that you’re covered if something were to happen. It’s important to ask whether this is an add-on service or if you’ll need to organise it yourself.
9) Are You Accredited?
Accreditations indicate that a freight forwarder upholds high standards, so it’s worth checking if they have any. At Andrews Shipping, we’re a long-standing member of the British International Freight Association (BIFA). This means we have top links with UK shipping lines, as well as up-to-date knowledge of the industry.
10) Who’s Responsible for Completing Documentation?
Freight forwarders can take away the stress of importing and exporting items by taking care of any paperwork. It’s worth confirming if they can do this or whether this is something you’ll need to handle yourself. Also, find out the turnaround time for the completion of the forms for your peace of mind.
We have over 50 years of freight forwarding and shipping experience, and many of our customers have been with us since the start. We ship everything from vehicles to student belongings across the world on a daily basis and offer insurance in the rare event of loss or damage.
If you’d like to discuss your shipping requirements and our services, get in touch with our friendly team today.